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Ashes of Civil War veteran taken on cross-country trip, including stops at Appomattox and Gettysburg

The ashes of Civil War veteran Pvt. Jewett Williams, recently found in a storage room an Oregon mental hospital, are en route to his home state of Maine, carried there by a relay of motorcycle riders, with recently added stops at Appomattox Court House and Gettysburg.

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 08/16

Earl J. Hess, Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). Matthew Karp, This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (Harvard University Press, 2016). Williamson Murray and Wayne Hsieh, A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War (Princeton University Press, 2016). […]

The Hazards of Thomas Hazard

Thomas Hazard was born 22 Feb 1727 on the west side of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. He was the descendant of a man of the same name who had come to Boston in the 1630s Puritan migration, then helped to found Newport in 1639. Hazard...Show More Summary

Vanderbilt to Remove “Confederate” Inscription

The announcement came earlier today that Vanderbilt University’s Confederate Memorial Hall will be re-named. Click here for the history of this particular campus building.

When Civil War Reenactors Legitimize Racism

Last week I shared a segment of Vice Does America that focused on the interaction between a young black man and a Confederate reenactor in Jacksonville, Alabama. The reenactor questioned Wilbert Cooper as to why he chose not to suit up and join a Confederate unit based on his belief that blacks fought in integrated […]

Rhode Island Furniture in Connecticut, Opening 19 Aug.

On Friday, 19 August, The Yale University Art Gallery will open a new exhibit titled “Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830.” The exhibit’s website says: “Drawing together more than 130 exceptional objects...Show More Summary

But Enough about Me—Let’s Talk about My Book

Laura Beach of Antiques and the Arts recently interviewed me about how I got into researching and writing history and then creating this blog. Here’s a taste of that exchange:How broad is public interest in American history? American history at this level is a niche interest, but, like any niche, it has fervent followers. Show More Summary

A Split in the Merchants’ Club in 1771

On Tuesday, 13 Aug 1771, John Adams went into Boston for a weekly meeting of one of his gentlemen’s clubs and discovered that most of the club wasn’t there. He wrote in his diary:Spent the Evening at [Hannah] Cordis’s, the British Coffee house.—In the front Room, towards the long Wharfe, where the Merchants Clubb has met this twenty Years. Show More Summary

“75,000 Confederates of Color?” on a Billboard

This is one of two billboards sponsored by the Missouri Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans that have recently been placed along Missouri highways, one near Kansas City and the other outside of St. Louis. There is something desperate about placing such an advertisement on a large billboard, but it does serve as a wonderful example […]

The Fights After the Fight off Fairhaven

Yesterday I started describing the 14 May 1775 fight outside Buzzard’s Bay between the newly-armed whaler Success from the village of Fairhaven and two trading sloops that the Royal Navy had recently captured.When I broke off, provincial...Show More Summary

‘A Way of Life Built on Black Bodies’

The most recent episode of Vice Does America takes viewers to Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana, to meet with Choctaw Native Americans and Jacksonville, Alabama for a Civil War reenactment. The reenactment is well worth watching. It’s begins innocently enough with Abdullah Saeed, Wilbert L. Cooper, and Martina de Alba taking sides and suiting up in their respective […]

I Have a Civil War Ancestor!

I have always felt a bit like an outsider compared to those of you who can trace your family’s history back to the Civil War. Thanks to John Stones, who is the “chaplain” for one of the Southern Heritage Facebook groups, today I learned that I have an ancestor who served in the United States […]

The Fight off Fairhaven

Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven overlooks the site of what’s often called, especially in Fairhaven, the first naval fight of the Revolutionary War. (People in Machias, Maine, disagree.)As Derek W. Beck described in this article for the Journal of the American Revolution, the action started on 11 May 1775 when “a barge from Capt. Show More Summary

Visiting Hupp’s Battery Marker

There are some places in Gettysburg National Military Park that are hard to reach. Today we take a trek to the least-visited Confederate battery marker on the battlefield, north of the Railroad Cut along Oak/Seminary Ridge. This image taken facing southeast at approximately 7:30 PM on Wednesday August 10, 2016. Show More Summary

Catching All the Crowds at Fort Phoenix

Another news story with historic roots that’s been bouncing around the web this week has been the reported vandalism at Fort Phoenix, site of a Revolutionary War battery in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.On 13 July, the Fairhaven Historical Commission met to discuss an unexpected strain on the site: Pokémon Go players. Show More Summary

General Edmund Kirby Smith, Black Confederate

Last week the History News Network published a little featurette about Derek Boyd Hankerson, who bills himself as a university lecturer, filmmaker, author, and political operative. He also worked as Donald Trump’s Northeast Florida Field Director. The focus of the piece, however, was on his work as a historian of American slavery and his belief […]

Investigating the Meaning of the Gadsden Flag

A government agency’s report from a couple of months ago is just now being spread around the web, thanks to law professor Eugene Volokh’s column about it in the Washington Post. The Volokh article is headlined “Wearing ‘Don’t Tread on...Show More Summary

Soldiers National Monument Fence Removed, Restoration Nearing Completion

The Soldiers National Monument has been cleaned, and the fence surrounding it has been removed to allow a better view of the monument. The monument was worked on not only to clean it but to fix problems created by vandalism. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:00 PM on Friday, August 5, 2016. Show More Summary

His Royal HIghness, the Teen-Aged Midshipman

The English Historical Fiction Authors blog just reran the late M. M. Bennetts’s article about Prince William Henry, third son of George III and Queen Charlotte, and his adventures in the American War: In 1778, when he was twelve, Prince...Show More Summary

Mark Summers on Reconstruction at CWI

Mark Summers gave this talk on Reconstruction at this year’s Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. It was one of the highlights of the conference and is well worth your time as is his new book on the subject. Watch it here at C-SPAN.

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